Got knocked up and am pregnant with my first. Should I consider leaving my fully remote and low maintenance 81k/yr job where I can also be home to care for my baby for a high paced office job that pays 180k+/yr job to get ahead after I deliver?

 I’m (28F) currently pregnant with my first. It wasn’t planned and though I have a wonderful and supporting boyfriend (30M) now, was knocked up a month into our then summer fling and am now trying to ‘make it work’ despite our short time together. We moved into a rental home together a few months ago and get along well (sharing similar views and expectations of the relationship and duties as new parents).

For the past 4 years, I have worked as an analyst (hired on at 57k) with a current annual salary of 81k complete with company paid for health insurance/vision/dental/etc. and 10% profit sharing. We transitioned to permanently remote this past year and I am no longer required to go into an office. I am very good at my job and usually things that take my counterparts a full day to do, I can complete within a few hours. As a result, some days I do not work more than 2-5hrs. My supervisors are hands-off and do not care if I take time off throughout the day to meet appointments or take a later lunch as long as my work is completed and obligations with clients and other teams are met. As I am also tenured at my company, I have very generous PTO and Sick Leave benefits.

It is 100% feasible for me to stay at home and care for my baby AND keep my current job. I turned down the opportunity for a leadership promotion midway through my pregnancy because I was scared of taking on the additional responsibilities (there was a lot of uncertainty regarding my living situation and relationship at that time). I know however that another leadership opportunity will present itself within the next 1-2 years which would be another 10k increase and a new pay scale.

My boyfriend works a trade job, has no higher education and his income is supplemented by his military disability benefits. His combined annual take-home is also about 80k. We have discussed marriage and working together to buy a home and begin building a stable foundation to meet our goals. But as it stands today, we have no liquid savings, and I have about 50k in debt (student loans, vehicle loan, credit card), and he has about 40k in debt (similar). And frankly, a lot can happen between now and the next year and I am not keen on counting on his income (for a number of reasons) to make sure that we can buy a home and pay off debt, funnel money into savings, etc. Though I’d like to note that though he is actively working on additional certifications and taking on extra responsibilities at work to increase his earning potential, he is also a registered gang member. And if he goes to jail/prison, I cannot afford the rent and expenses by myself for our current living situation. I have known this man for less than a year, and though I absolutely adore him- my first and foremost duty is to provide for myself and my child. It is also possible that things change and we never marry and decide instead on a co-parenting arrangement. Terminating the pregnancy was not an option due to where I live.

So this brings me to my dilemma. I have a unique opportunity to change my career and take on a high commission paying job (an extremely close friend has guaranteed me a job on their team at their company). The job will require me to be present in an office setting Mon-Fri (standard hours) and two Saturdays a month. The office is a 1hr commute from my home (one way) and my parents live 15min from the office and have agreed to watch my baby Mon-Fri. I would also plan to pay my Mom $800-$1000 a month for the help.

The average amount an employee on this team brings home is 18k a month before taxes. The least anyone has ever brought in is 7k during their first two months learning the job. This company does offer PTO but due to the nature of the job, extended time off could lead to lower performance and termination should you not meet your goals after a two-month period. They also do not pay fully for healthcare so I would have to begin paying my own premiums but I believe there is 401k matching.

My close friend has told me that the job is demanding but would be a good opportunity for me to build up enough money to get to where I want to go next- even if I just buckle down and work for two years. They are worried though that if I am unable to balance everything, I may burn out or resent not having enough time with my child. I have discussed this job opportunity with my boyfriend and he has told me that I shouldn’t feel pressured to make more- but he would support me no matter what I chose. In the case that I do take this job, he has agreed to take on more house duties including taking care of dinner and watching the baby on the Saturdays that I have to work.

Would it be worth it? To leave a good-paying remote job with great benefits for another company that will demand much more of me but pays nearly 2-3 times as much? Upon delivery, I will begin maternity leave. I have saved up all my PTO and Sick Leave days since I found out I was pregnant and have it approved to take 16 weeks of 100% full paid leave with a return date of August. If I switch my job, I may start as soon as July or as late as November (depending on if there is an immediate opening on the team or not).

My concern is that I will miss out on time with my baby- however babies don’t do too much during their first couple of years? I would be willing to sacrifice being there during this time to put myself and my ‘family’ in a better financial situation. And additionally, my baby will be under the care of my parents while I work during the day, not just at a daycare. Also, I know that if I can’t hack this new job (I get burnt out), I can always return back to my old company or a similar role at another company. However, probably making a little less than I do now and I would miss out on promoting to a leadership role.

Does this plan seem feasible? Has anyone else here made a similar career change like this for these reasons? Did you feel like a bad Mom? What are your thoughts on giving up the work-life balance in the short term to eliminate debt and build financial security for your family? Should I say no and try to make it work with what we make now? If I were to take this job, how should I time it with my maternity leave? My FMLA/Corporate Parental Leave benefits end after 12 weeks and I am supplementing my last 4 weeks of pay with PTO/Sick Leave which I can cash out upon termination.

I don’t know if I am thinking through this clearly or if I am weighing all of my options completely and even asking myself the right questions. Any advice/suggestions would be thoroughly appreciated. I feel like I need to make up for lost time because I always imagined I’d be in a much more financially stable place before starting a family.


81k is still great and with WFH with a baby: it's a no-brainer. I would kill to WFH with my baby to ensure I was there for all their 'firsts.' That's what life's about -, not money.

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